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Poster: Kevin VandeWettering Date: Apr 22, 2007 11:51am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: I don't these these are truly PD...

The films you mention have been widely treated as public domain for a lot of years. These were released for american audiences and fell into the public domain. I'm not giving legal advice here, but there is a period of time ending in 1990 where works had to be registered in order to be protected. While the films may not be public domain, the copyright holders have no recourse.

Even if these films were copyrighted, and you could litigate to recover from their use, laches would probably be an effective defense, because of the lack of these owners asserting their rights for a very long time.

In 1996, copyrights were restored on certain foreign works that lapsed into the public domain in the US. But, they are directed to notify reliance parties of their intent notify reliance parties if the owner of the rights planned to enforce the rights. One means of notification was filing with the Copyright Office a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) a Restored Copyright.

So again, you snooze, you loose. Metropolis is one of the films that is registered with a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) a Restored Copyright. No notice, no lawsuit. Eligibility for a restored copyright doesn't automatically grant it and their is a time limit.





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Poster: Kevin VandeWettering Date: Apr 22, 2007 12:25pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: I don't these these are truly PD...

Let's change that a smidge:

The restored (GATT) copyright doesn't allow you to recover damages for infringement, unless you have notified, your intent to enforce, the primary method being an NIE. The period for filing an NIE has passed.

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Poster: Atomic Mystery Monster Date: Apr 23, 2007 7:35am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: I don't these these are truly PD...

>The films you mention have been widely treated as public domain for a lot >of years.

I hate to be a nit-picker, but Rashomon wasn't considered PD. Godzilla Vs. Megalon and It's A Wonderful Life used to get treated as being PD, and well, I think you know the rest.

>I'm not giving legal advice here, but there is a period of time ending in >1990 where works had to be registered in order to be protected. While the >films may not be public domain, the copyright holders have no recourse.

That's pretty interesting; do you have a link or citation so I can read more about this? However, I feel that America's signing onto the Berne Convention in 1986 (which even effects the "PD" status of works done prior to 1986) would cover that as long as the film was still under copyright in its country of origin. You can read more at http://tinyurl.com/3rlgy and http://tinyurl.com/2bqkvz .

>In 1996, copyrights were restored on certain foreign works that lapsed into >the public domain in the US. But, they are directed to notify reliance parties >of their intent notify reliance parties if the owner of the rights planned to >enforce the rights. One means of notification was filing with the Copyright >Office a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) a Restored Copyright.

I rather doubt that someone went through the trouble of tracking down the rightsholders to give them this information, thus making the policy seem an awful lot like the "notice of Earth's schedule destruction being noted on another planet" bit from the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel.

>Metropolis is one of the films that is registered with a Notice of Intent to >Enforce (NIE) a Restored Copyright.

Very interesting; I wonder why the company that filed that hasn't cracked down on Madacy, Mill Creek, etc. for their releases of that movie.

>The restored (GATT) copyright doesn't allow you to recover damages for >infringement, unless you have notified, your intent to enforce, the primary >method being an NIE. The period for filing an NIE has passed.

You said using a NIE was the "primary method," does that mean there are other methods? And although you say that not having an NIE wouldn't let someone recover damages, I'd imagine that one could still do a C&D notice and/or contact a website's ISP (which is what I've been trying to warn the site about).

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Poster: Kevin VandeWettering Date: Apr 24, 2007 1:09pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: I don't these these are truly PD...

>You said using a NIE was the "primary method," does that mean there are other methods? And although you say that not having an NIE wouldn't let someone recover damages.

Yes, there WERE other relevant methods of providing reliance parties with your intent to enforce, read the statute. The only really practical one was to file an NIE.

If you did not use one of these statutory methods to re-assert your rights in films that had already passed into the public domain in the United States, then your film remains public domain. The window to meet these statutory requirements is over.